Forget vintage watches, fine wine and rare jewellery – if you want a rapidly appreciating asset what you need right now is a Fast Ford from 20 to 40 years ago.
Further evidence of their rocketing value emerged at the weekend when versions of two of the most iconic models sold for world record fees.
Silverstone Auctions revealed that a 1972 Ford Escort RS1600 was purchased at one of its sales last week for £70,875 – the most anyone has ever paid for this particular model.
The second Fast Ford to become the most expensive of its type was a 1990 Ford Sierra Sapphire Cosworth 4×4, with the winning bidder forking out a massive £52,750 – £20,000 more than auctioneers thought it would make.
Fast Ford – fast price: This 1972 Ford Escort Mk1 RS1600 set a new world record when it sold for £70,875 a week ago
And it wasn’t the only record-setting Ford of the day – this 1990 Sierra Sapphire Cosworth 4×4 also set a new benchmark for fees paid for the particular model
The new world record purchases were made at the September Sale auction held at Dallas Burston Polo Club in Southam just outside of Royal Leamington Spa.
Stealing the ‘lime’light was this luminous green Mk1 Escort RS1600 – a car that has become a real collectors item in recent years.
It’s thought that Ford originally only produced 1,137 of them in total, all of which used a detuned Formula 3 1.6-litre powerplant and were built at the car maker’s famed Ford Advanced Vehicle Operations facility in Essex.
As well as higher performance engines and sports suspension, the RS1600 also featured a strengthened bodyshell to make it the ideal rallying tool.
And that’s what most were used for, with plenty being bent beyond repair in the process.
Fast Ford historians believe there are fewer than 50 RS1600s registered or on SORN in the UK today. And not all surviving examples will be in pristine condition.
The assumption is that the vast majority have been extensively raced, exported, or just lived a hard life at the hands and feet of enthusiastic owners.
That means it’s a real rarity to find a road car in as incredible condition as this one.
Just 50 examples of the RS1600 Escort are believed to be registered in the UK today
Many have been bent beyond repair while in rallying action, and many of those that survive are likely to have been heavily modified for racing
This particular car has been fully restored, as you can tell by the spotless engine bay
It was first registered in Britain on 11 February 1972 and was purchased by the current owner as a restoration project so it could form part of a glimmering collection.
The odometer is reading just 3,525 miles, though it is understood that this is the total mileage covered since this car underwent its ground-up rebuild not too long ago.
The Le Mans Green paintwork is superb with excellent shut lines – a failing of some reconditioned models you might find elsewhere – and has been completed to what Silverstone Auctions says is ‘a very high standard’.
The interior is completely original and correct, and the engine bay is spotless – more reason for it to shatter the previous record fee paid for one.
The eclipsed figure for an Escort RS1600 road car was set in July 2016 when one was sold in Australia for $118,000 – or £66,776.
The odometer is reading just 3,525 miles, though it is understood that this is the total mileage covered since this car underwent its ground-up rebuild
The previous record high price paid for an Escort RS1600 road car was set in July 2016 when one was sold in Australia for $118,000 – or £66,776.
And it wasn’t the world record setter of the day.
This low mileage 1990 Ford Sierra Sapphire Cosworth 4×4 obliterated the previous highest sum by £17,000 when the hammer dropped at the auction.
That record was set at another Silverstone Auctions sale in November 2015, with that car changing hands for £35,438.
Believed to be one of the first six examples available on the UK market, it is entirely original and has covered no more than 13,310 miles in the last 28 years, when it cost £23,000 new – the original sales receipt with the car proves this.
All of those miles have been added by just one lady owner who had decided to part ways with it now that she’s reached the age of 80 – thus proving the Fast Ford boy racer stereotype as completely redundant.
This low mileage 1990 Ford Sierra Sapphire Cosworth 4×4 obliterated the previous highest sum by £17,000 when the hammer dropped at the auction
Believed to be one of the first six examples available on the UK market, it is entirely original and has covered no more than 13,310 miles in the last 28 years
All of those miles have been added by just one lady owner who had decided to part ways with it now that she’s reached the age of 80
As well as the vehicle’s entire documented history, it was even supplied with the two unused lumber support pads (still bagged) which were an accessory for the Recaro seats.
It still sports its original exhaust which is unusual for a car of this generation, with most having theirs replaced with dustbin-sized aftermarket bean cans.
Even the new tyres fitted are the proper factory specification items adding to the car’s sense of originality.
Speaking about the sale of the Fast Fords, Joe Watts, classic car specialist at Silverstone auctions, said: ‘To achieve not one but two new world records is a fantastic result for our team.
‘Both our Porsche Sale (held on the same day) and September Sale saw some outstanding classics and excellent prices across the two days, with our new auction venue at Dallas Burston Polo Club proving a hit with our customers.’
The immaculate car has more than doubled in value without taking inflation into account. The one lady owner paid £23,000 for it in 1990 – there’s even a sales receipt to prove it
It still sports its original exhaust which is unusual for a car of this generation, with most having theirs replaced with dustbin-sized aftermarket bean cans